With a week left in the 2014 Gubernatorial primary races it appears the fall campaign will pit incumbent, embattled Gov. Tom Corbett versus Tom Wolf. Polls have shown the York businessman with a commanding lead for months. I chatted briefly with him Friday night at an event in Allentown and he said their internal polling has him over 40%. I asked how he thought the undecideds would break out and he said their polling also shows that most of these people aren’t off year primary voters so he doesn’t feel they’ll affect the race.
That’s interesting because he means he’s likely to go over 50% in a four way race, three if you discount Katie McGinty who is polling just 2%. Allyson Schwartz ran a pitiful race in which she barely left southeastern Pennsylvania and was last to be on television. By the time she woke up and started serious campaigning the race was over. Rob McCord’s ads are backfiring tremendously and are actually hurting him more than they’re hurting Wolf. The Wolf campaign has deftly and effectively countered all of the attacks against them. McCord appears to be a desperate candidate making desperate claims in an attempt to win at the close of the race. It isn’t working.
On the GOP side Corbett, recognized as the most vulnerable Governor in the country, will soundly defeat challenger Bob Guzzardi. His ads are extremely fact challenged and I expect the Wolf team to dissect them once Labor Day rolls around. Corbett cannot escape some simple facts: $2.5 billion has been siphoned or cut from K12 public education and the state ranks near the bottom in job creation under his leadership. He claims to have created 150,000 private sector jobs but neglects to mention the 20,000 teachers he threw out of work and the fact those job numbers lag behind almost every other state. His inability to work even with members of his own Party in the House and Senate, his infamous “just close your eyes” statement on mandatory ultrasounds and other famous quotes will all come back to haunt him in the fall. He is Dead Governor Walking.
Gov. Gasbag kicked off his re-election campaign and is trying to message it as “Promises Kept.” Yes, to the corporations and energy companies who bankroll his campaigns perhaps but not to the people. He has kicked hundreds of thousands off health care, cut education by a billion bucks, channeled another $1.5 billion from public schools to charters, cut business taxes while cutting your services and illustrated a complete inability to work with the legislature. Add to all that his affinity for putting his foot in his mouth every time it opens.
Remember “they just have to close their eyes?” My advice for the Corbett campaign is this: just close your eyes when the election returns begin rolling in next November.
A hundred protesters greeted the Guv in Philadelphia yesterday. Eight Democrats have already greeted him in the race. Corbett is dead Governor walking, an incumbent with zero chance of re-election. Polish up that resume Tom and begin greasing up for the screwing the voters are about to give you.
Meanwhile Mayor Ed Pawlowski of Allentown showed a marked weakness Tuesday. With just nominal independent opposition he failed to garner as many votes as he did in 2009. His vaunted campaign team told the Express Times they had 220 volunteers knock on 120,000 doors Tuesday and 78,000 over the weekend. Did anyone bother to do the math before publishing these ludicrous claims? That means each canvasser hit 545 doors or 45/hour for twelve hours without a break. Give me a break.
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski jumped into the state’s Gubernatorial primary next year. He is the latest Democrat to seize on Tom Corbett’s abysmal poll numbers and enter the contest. He has turned Allentown around and has support from various Lehigh Valley officials but I doubt he’ll be a factor outside that region. There are simply too many heavyweights in this race.
I had a few minutes to chat with Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord and asked the obvious question: is he running for Governor next year? He replied that he’s at State Committee to celebrate last year’s sweep of state row offices and a talk about the Governor’s race was premature. He and the other two Democratic state Row Officers Kathleen Kane and Eugene Depasquale were joining McCord in a celebration of last year’s victories. Of course everyone here is really more interested in next year’s race than last year’s.
McCord definitely sounded like a candidate as he mentioned Tom Corbett’s dismal job record. The Commonwealth has lost so many jobs under Gov. Gasbag that we’re now over the national unemployment rates. This after he promised a wealth of new jobs from fracking. Unless you’re a truck driver most of those are filled by temporary transplants from Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas here staying in fleabag motels. The Treasurer speculated to me that a Democratic nominee with a proven track record of creating jobs (him) would make a good candidate to go against Corbett. That’s an issue not much of the state’s press has covered yet and I asked if this was an issue on the radar yet. He responded that economic issues are slower to get on the public’s consciousness as other more scandalous ones. He intimated that it will.
If you’re a serious candidate for the 2014 Democratic endorsement you need to be in Hershey this weekend. Last year there were only two State Party conferences due to Hurricane Sandy. A serious candidate needs to be in Hershey this weekend beginning to talk with those who will be voting next year. These twelve months will fly past quickly. If you aren’t here you aren’t a serious candidate.
I haven’t seen any other of the major names being bandied about but Allyson Schwartz stickers are being handed out with no office printed upon them. John Hanger is hosting a reception tonight as well as Max Myers. Neither one has much chance of being the nominee.